Project name: Economic Empowerment Partnerships with Private Sector
Outcome area: Economic empowerment
Project partner: International Finance Corporation
Total funding: $3,400,000*
Funding timeframe: 2014–2018
The Business Coalition for Women (BCFW) is a group of companies and corporate leaders who are helping the private sector in PNG to recruit, retrain and promote women as employees, leaders, customers and business partners. Among other resources and services, BCFW has developed a model workplace policy and related tools that support survivors of GBV. Active coalition member NCS Holdings Pty (NCS) is already seeing early results.
Research conducted in 2014–2015 by BCFW found that 94 percent of surveyed PNG employers believed their employees had experienced GBV and that it affects their workplaces. Further research with a sample group of employers showed the cost of GBV due to loss of staff time alone was between two and nine percent of their salary bills.
In response, the BCFW worked with its members to develop a Family and Sexual Violence Legal Guide for businesses in PNG, a model workplace FSV policy and an implementation toolkit. BCFW provides training to help its members to implement the gender smart policies.
NCS was one of two early adopters and participated in the pilot training.
Since the training, NCS is reporting positive change in its workplace. More staff experiencing FSV have disclosed that they are survivors; there has been a reduction in visible bruising and an increase in attendance of staff who had previously been absent due to FSV.
In one case since the FSV policies were introduced, NCS actively assisted an employee by reporting the violence to the perpetrator’s employer. The employer warned the perpetrator that his behaviour was unacceptable and that if he should retaliate, disciplinary action would be taken against him.
Without NCS’ action, it is likely that the employee would have abandoned her employment at both a personal cost as well as direct and indirect costs to NCS. Direct costs alone (termination, recruitment and retraining costs) were estimated in this case at PGK 4,333 (AU$1,785).
Male staff members also report feeling engaged in NCS’ response to FSV. A male staff member stated ‘I am very proud to be a part of a company that has seen the need to educate our staff on FSV and launch a policy to assist all of us that may experience FSV in some way, now we are aware that this is not just a domestic issue anymore. It seriously affects people at work also.’